Greetings from Philadelphia, about five hours away from the start of the draft:
Now that Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler is going to Ducks for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in the draft, expect some movement from Western teams to play catchup and maybe more coming from Canucks new GM Jim Benning. Not sure Rangers have a trade partner there, though.
Hardly breaking news, but the Rangers are going to lose some players besides Brad Richards, who was excised from the roster with a compliance buyout earlier this month.
As the free agent supply dwindles with team resigning their own players (such as Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik), the price goes up for the rest of the market.
After Matt Niskanen, Anton Stralman could arguably be the second most-sought after defenseman on the market. It appears that Stralman, Brian Boyle and Benoit Pouliot all will test the waters on July 1. Raphael Diaz and Dan Carcillo also are UFAs. That’s not to say one or two could be kept, but….
With some quality goaltending prospects available in this year’s draft, the Rangers will likely snag one in the later (4-5) rounds to try to groom to eventually replace Henrik Lundqvist. A couple European names are in the mix.
If Rangers don’t have enough money to suit Dan Boyle’s needs, wonder if Brooks Orpik (I know he’s a lefty and the Rangers need a righty) is on radar...I'd certainly be looking at righty Mark Fayne (Devils)...
Part of Mike Johnston’s deal to be the head coach in Pittsburgh was to accept the organization’s desire to bring in Rick Tocchet as an assistant. Wonder if that’s why Willie Desjardins preferred Vancouver…
Former Columbus GM Scott Howson, who drafted Nikita Nikitin, was the exec in Oilers organization pushing to sign the defenseman, who received an eyebrow-raising, two-year, $9 million contract.